I just realized I’ve only posted one diary here in the last two months. That’s some pretty sparse writing for me. My excuse isn’t bad, though. Alex and I moved from Texas to northern Virginia last month so that we could both take on some new challenges.
For me, it comes down to this: After three years of blogging and over two great years with VoteVets.org, I’ve accepted a position at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C. I’ll be working in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs. As many of you might know, this is the office run by Assistant Secretary Tammy Duckworth. I start there on Monday, and, of course, I’m excited about the opportunity--not only for myself, but for the chance to directly impact the way in which VA interacts with veterans of all eras.
It’s as if the irony gods took one look at all my writing and past criticisms of the department and said, "Oh, really? So how about you put your money where your mouth is?" But that’s fine with me. I’m under no illusions about the challenges I’ll be facing in the new job. In reality, it’s why I sought out a position in the Department of Veterans Affairs in the first place. I think if you’re going to offer criticism, you’ve got to be willing, at some point, to step into the arena and give it a shot.
So on Friday, my political hat comes off. After three years of blogging and two years of working on military and veterans issues from within the political and media bubble, the fangs are coming out. On Monday morning, I’ll wake up and find myself back in the politically neutral U.S. government world I left when I signed out of the Army in 2004. And instead fighting for policy change from the outside--as I’ve gotten so used to--I’ll be working on the inside, hopefully to make the Department of Veterans Affairs a better place.
Daily Kos is where I entered the real world of public policy back in 2006, and so many of you have helped me along the way. Quite literally, your support of my writing has helped propel me into this next phase of my career. So if I accomplish much in the Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans across America will have this community to thank. On the other hand, if I screw up something major, America’s combat vets will have the Great Orange Satan to blame forever. ;)